A classic from holiday season: we are talking about salmon. It is a festive product, which sales explode right now during holidays. But speaking of quality, the worst goes along often with the best in supermarkets… And there’s plenty choice to get lost among the many sources, the different salting, smoking, colors ranging from pale pink to very strong orange, packaging… and prices!
What I am proposing today is to make your own marinated salmon (I said marinated, not smoked!). The “Gravlax” recipe comes from nordic countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark but is also know under diffrent names in Island, Finnland and Baltic countries.
With simple and quality ingredients, you will need just a little patience and you will see that this recipe will quickly become your favorite. you’ll serve it either as an aperitif —on blinis or toasts—, as a starter with a green salad, fennel and a poached egg, or as a main course with some fingerling potatoes, cooked with skin and still warm… This salmon, marinated as in the Scandinavian countries, gives an air of holidays to all your meals.
We must choose an excellent salmon (organic would be the best). Prefer the thickest part of the filet and carefully remove the bones with special grips. I always trim my fish to remove the thinnest parts on the edges to have a uniform thickness. In doing so I avoid having saltier areas than others. I keep the trimmings to prepare salmon rillettes!
Then it’s up to you to try…
Ingredients you will need for the Gravlax Marinated Salmon
You’ll find these spices easily on Amazon:
- 1 salmon fillet of about 1 1/3 lbs (600 g)
- 2 1/2 tbsp (30 g) of caster sugar
- 2 1/3 (35 g) of salt
- 1 csp coriander seeds
- 1 csp freshly ground pepper (5 peppercorns mix)
- 1 csp of cumin
- 1 csp of juniper berries
- 1 clove
- 1 bunch of dill
- 2 csp cooking oil
In a mortar, crush all the spices. Add sugar and salt.
Dry salmon thoroughly with paper towels. Remove edges with grips. Trim any edges which are too thin: the fillet must be about the same thickness everywhere. Remove the ornaments that can be used to prepare salmon rillettes.
On the workplan, spread a double layer of plastic wrap. Spread over half the mixture of sugar / salt / spices. Put on the salmon fillet. Cover the rest with seasoning salt. Fold the film, wrap well while firmly holding salmon and hunting as much air as possible. Place in a dish. Place it in the refrigerator and turn the salmon every 12 hours. Should be emptied regularly as juices run.
After 48 hours, remove the film and quickly rinse the salmon under cold water. Dry with a paper towel, coat with oil by using a brush. Remove the stems from the dill bouquet and chop it finely (put a few sprigs aside for the sauce).
Roll the salmon in it for it is completely coated. Place in the refrigerator another 24 hours. Just before serving, you cut the fish finely.
Present with gravlax sauce and/or a dash of lemon.
Ingredients for the mustard and dill sauce
- 1/2 cup (15 cl) of sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon sweet mustard (type Savora)
- 4 tablespoons of chopped dill
- Salt and pepper
In a bowl, emulsify the honey, vinegar and mustard. Salt, pepper, then beat the mixture while pouring oil to obtain a mayonnaise. Add dill and refrigerate.
What about making your own blinis for the holidays? I assure that the “homemade” version has little to do with the deceptive sponge cakes found in supermarkets. With a basic recipe, you can do all sorts of blinis. I chose to mix flour and buckwheat flour. It blends beautifully with the salmon. And to give them a more “marine” touch I used butter with seaweed. You can also add some dried algae (food stores) to your salted butter!
I give you the proportions for 50 mini blinis. Last year I bought a special pan, convenient for making regular pancakes…
Ingredients for the buckwheat blinis
For 50 mini blinis:
- 1 cup (110g) of wheat flour
- 1 cup (110 g) of buckwheat flour
- 1 cup (250 ml) of milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 (8 g) of yeast
- 1 coffee-spoon sugar
- 4 tbsp stirred yoghurt
- 3 1/2 tbsp (50 g) seaweed butter
- Salt and pepper
Let milk cool. In a bowl, mix yeast with sugar and milk third. Let “rise” for 10 minutes, covered.
Meanwhile mix the flour in a large bowl. Add eggs, melted butter, yogurt and milk.
Mix thoroughly. Add the yeast mixture, salt and pepper. If dough is too thick, add a little water to make it liquid. Let stand one hour at room temperature under a cloth.
Oil your pan with a paper towel and pour small amounts of dough. Cook gently for 2 minutes. Turn and cook 1 minute on the other side. Get rid from the grid. Repeat until all the dough is finished.
These pancakes can be prepared in advance and warmed up at the last minute in a pan or toaster. They also freeze very well under a food wrap.
Recipe inspired by Dominique